Bengaluru: Lewd Messages, Harassed, Blackmailed For Months, Woman Alleges Police Took No Action
The Logical Indian Crew Karnataka
October 29th, 2018 / 3:45 PM
Image Credits: NDTV
A woman from Bengaluru has been a victim of online sexual harassment by unknown people who claimed to have gotten her phone number from “escort services”. Over several weeks, 22-year-old Seema (name changed) received inappropriate, sexually abusive messages from various unknown phone numbers.
She even received a message that asked her to meet in person and get “anything” she would want for some “fun over the weekend”. What is worse, it is not just Seema who has been targeted, but her family members have been receiving vulgar messages too.
‘What is your rate?’
On August 23, 2018, Seema received the first message. A person asked for her rate implying that she is a sex worker. The person kept on insisting that Seema should let him know the rate and she asked from where got the number. To this, he replied that her number was available on an escort service.
The sender then backed off for 20 days in September but began sending messages that progressively became more abusive and vulgar to Seema. She was constantly being slut-shamed and the messages slowly started to insult her family. It was not only her family who started receiving the same kind of messages. Pooja Chaudhuri, a journalist, who is her friend, took her ordeal to twitter.
At one point, a ransom of Rs 40,000 was demanded by the sender, who began sending Seema’s colleagues screenshots of her Facebook profile, calling her a “prostitute” who was looting people, reported The News Minute.
She had to remove all her social media accounts and her WhatsApp too. But, her parents are still receiving the same kind of messages. Seema is from West Bengal and she stays in Bangalore. Her parents are worried and wants her to come back home. “It has been extremely mentally traumatizing,” said Seema.
A complaint was filed by Seema at the Electronic City police station, but they told her that the only way to stop this from happening is to change her phone and SIM. Seema said that although the Cyber Crime cell registered an FIR, no further action was taken. She also submitted a list of numbers she has blocked that kept on sending her and her family those lewd messages.
A message sent to Seema’s mother called Seema “a prostitute from a pig” and threatened they would stream her sexual activities on social media, “My parents are still getting such messages. They are extremely worried, and want me to come back home,” Seema said.
Seema’s ex-boyfriend suspected
Seema suspects that Samarth (name changed), her ex-boyfriend, may be behind the crime. Seema and Samarth had been seeing each other for seven years and broke up with each ither six months back. She says that he has learnt hacking and might be doing this to get back at her.
Seema said that Samarth claimed he had also been targeted by the blackmailer. “But the language and the time of the messages was exactly the same as what I had gotten. He also told me that he had transferred Rs 25,000 through account transfer to the blackmailer as ransom. But when I asked him to send me a screenshot of the transaction, he dilly-dallied, and then ultimately sent me two numbers and claimed that he had transferred Rs 1,000 and Rs 3,000 respectively to both through Paytm,” Seema said to The News Minute.
Samarth claimed that he transferred some money to the blackmailer’s phone number through Paytm bank, but when Seema asked for the screenshots of these transactions, he said he would send her the proof the next morning. No reply ever came from him.
Seema says that Samarth is the only person she had given her family members’ numbers. The phone numbers that sent her lewd messages began with the US country code, which is +1. Such dummy numbers can be created with certain apps available, and since the blackmailer never called Seema, she is almost certain that it is somebody she knows.
Seema shared all of this with the police officials and the Cyber Crime officials. She has registered an FIR naming Samarth, who is also from her hometown in West Bengal, but the messages still come. Since she is not on WhatsApp or anywhere on social media, it is mainly her parents who receive these messages.
Fake profile still active on Facebook
The fake profile that is sending screenshots of her profile and lewd comments about her to her colleagues has not even been taken down, and it appears on Facebook with no details and no profile picture. Seema mentioned one ‘Sandeep Rana’ in the FIR, who has been involved in such activities online, along with the URL.
“My boss has been very supportive, thankfully. But it doesn’t look nice when my colleagues get such messages about me, even though they are not true,” said Seema. Despite The News Minute trying to reach the Cyber Crime cell and the Electronic City police officials several times, there was no response from either of them.
The Logical Indian urges the Cyber Crime cell as well as police officials to investigate the matter and punish the accused, putting an end to Seema’s stressful ordeal.
Written by : Sumanti Sen
Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi